Former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen
has definitively drawn a line under his erstwhile ambitions to rejoin the grand prix grid in 2011, the Finn's manager has confirmed – as a prolonged future in the World Rally Championship (WRC) looks ever-more likely.
Having bluntly rebutted Renault's advances – and even accused the Enstone-based outfit of seeking to use his name for 'their marketing' when he had 'never seriously considered' driving for them [see separate story – click here
] – Raikkonen has appeared increasingly intent on sticking with rallying, and Citroën competition boss Olivier Quesnel revealed only this week that 'negotiations are progressing well for Kimi to stay in the Citroën Junior Team' next year [see separate story – click here
Whilst some believe that the 31-year-old's chances of remaining with the French manufacturer are not quite so strong – with chief sponsor Red Bull
reportedly apprehensive about continuing to back Raikkonen in the wake of an unconvincing, accident-strewn debut season devoid of too many solid results – another option for the 'Iceman' may be Ken Block's Monster World Rally Team. Either way, and for the immediate future at least, the door to F1 appears firmly closed.
“We are no longer looking out for opportunities for F1,” the 18-time grand prix-winner's manager Steve Robertson told Finnish television channel MTV3
. “Kimi seems to be focussed on rallying at the moment – we are having discussions with several different teams, and I cannot say more.”